Educational Television

Christmas in Our Hearts: The Essence of Christmas in the Radio-TV Sphere

[Requested by MJH]

IT’S EXACTLY 100 days before Christmas and by tonight, every newscaster will notify them how many days are left at the end of each program. They have not yet released their Christmas IDs until by November but surely, Christmas is closer.

Jose Mari Chan, our very Mr. Pinoy Christmas, has been busy guesting in every media outlet possible since September 1st, despite his advanced age at 76 years old. Although his popular holiday album “Christmas in Our Hearts” was released 31 years ago, it has become a melodic trademark associated with the four-month-long festive season.

The lyrics of the titular hit single are definitely not secular — that role goes to “A Perfect Christmas” — but religious.

Oh boy, there goes that ear-worming lines. Even if you remove the music, you’d still sing along as you read its lyrics. 

What role did this song’s lyrics play in today’s traditional media landscape?


Revisiting DepEd TV

OH BOY, the country’s public school system begins its school year this Monday (September 13); it will be another school year without face-to-face interaction as COVID-19 continues to spread violently with various variants while our vaccination efforts lag. (The rest of the world is resuming face-to-face instructions with minimum health and safety protocols in place save Venezuela and us.)

Last year, parents and teachers were concerned about their children’s ability to continue their education in the face of the pandemic, as Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones desired. Furthermore, due to the President’s premeditated and petty motive, access to the most popular educational TV channel in the country was lost or limited because the company that made that channel lost its broadcast franchise.

At last, a solution was found; DepEd TV was born. 

In this blog post, we will revisit the state-sanctioned distance learning program: What went right? What went wrong? Are there any localized options?


Holy Week 2021: An Extraordinary Celebration for Our Country and for Our TV

Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s “First Mass at Limasawa” depicts the first Easter Sunday service on our shores half a millennium ago. This year marks our “Great Jubilee” of the Christian faith.

THIS YEAR’S Holy Week is extraordinary. It will mark the seven-day countdown to the Quincentennial Year (the 500th anniversary) of our Christian faith in the country that will start — rather than culminating, as initially planned — on Easter Sunday on April 4.

This sacred week of Christendom happens on the last four days of March and the first four of April. Therefore, the community quarantine status of the country for the coming month would be very critical but it has been anticipated by the IATF.

In the external backdrop, the daily COVID cases across the country recently went on the upward trend (the all-time high daily cases was recorded at 8,109 just yesterday). The dreadful variants made most of the vaccines (meagerly on hand) futile in terms of efficacy; one preferred and enforced brand is questionable due to incomplete salient data. This is more worrying than when the country initially responded back a year ago and we are already suffering the fatigue (We can call it the collective carrying of our crosses).

However, the extraordinariness behind this Holy Week is not just for its monumental commemoration — in which the key theme of Missio Ad Gentes (mission to the peoples) will be integrated — and the current external situation but also on the events happening on the small screens.

Here on Timow’s Turf, our mission is to chronicle what is confirmed and to guess closely what will happen in the coming week. (Jump ahead to get with the content.)


[The New PHTV Order] GMA Network Still Requires a Major Change of Heart

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the second of the two-part series. Although January is behind us, the plan for 2021 remains.]

THE OLD ORDER of things has passed away and Philippine television is no exception.

After the decades of heated head-to-head rivalry in the South Triangle of Quezon City, they concluded not just from a planned fall of a pioneering giant but also by a global pandemic.

With the New Normal now adapted, we also witnessed a New Landscape of this traditional media. It will be a test between the triumphant giant, GMA and the momentum-gaining challenger, TV5.

In the second part, we will tackle the Kapuso Network — fittingly right in the month of hearts — but did they win the hearts of the public as they are finally earned the No. 1 spot? Let’s find out.


The Hindsight That Was 2020: How the Surviving TV Networks Fared? (Part II)

[NOTE: If you haven’t read the first part of our year-ender, click HERE before proceeding.]

“If I knew back then what I know now. / If I understood the what, when, why and how. / Now it’s clear to me. What I should have done. / But hindsight is 20/20 vision.”

~George Benson, “20/20” (1985)

THE FIRST year of the New Decade is ending. When we began, this is a year that we expected a “perfect vision” or a show of ambition and surprises. However, we did not foresee an outbreak encroaching the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic puts a halt to the production of those things we looked forward to and puts precarious precautions on the essentials. Coupling with the premeditated fall of a prominent media giant, the surviving competitors fought rapaciously over broadcasting rights much worse than we initially thought or regained and repurposed.

In this two-part of the year-ender, how did the remaining TV networks respond? (NOTE: Let’s just pretend that ABS-CBN and the ZOE deal that forms A2Z are no longer relevant to discussions anymore because, well… you voted for it, you asked for it.)

In the second part, we will tackle the minor networks that garnered significant differences this year.

IBC 13

The real antipode to the fallen media giant regained prominence but not similar to its former glory nearly half a century ago. Instead, the neglected and utterly forgotten state-sequestered TV network was repurposed into a distance learning channel through DepEd TV from Monday to Saturday daytime. The biggest sacrifice, other than ending EZ Shop, is they have to pull the plug on El Shaddai after 28 years and the plan of SMAC Television Production’s Gen Z-hosted and performed noontime show.

In August, the worker’s union claim of perennial mismanagement was at a bad timing as it was eclipsed by the PhilHealth money heist. First, the reported amount of unpaid benefits since 2008 was P 278 million but that was just peanuts compared to PhilHealth’s P 15 billion. Second, PhilHealth’s theft has a much indirect effect on workers; public and private workers around the country are affected since we indirectly pay their premium contributions from our paychecks (they’re mandatory). Third, PhilHealth matters because of universal health coverage that any member would come to their aid when they get sick (especially with the lingering pandemic) as IBC is supposed to convey delivery of education and information.

While their broadcast franchise doesn’t expire until 2025, privatization is the obvious solution to end the myriad of problems but considering the current situation, the initiative couldn’t push anytime soon or worse, it won’t pursue anymore if DepEd TV becomes a permanent staple (which, in fairness, is a much better use of airtime than showing replays of government propaganda shows and home shopping but we’re in doubt over their financial standing).


The pandemic has introduced the daily Laging Handa public briefing since mid-March but it veered away from its intention from being an information handler when it comes to the virus into a front act for Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

One personality was no longer seen this year: Jules Guiang. The only dissenter in the roster of talents spilled his outspokenness on Twitter by comparing the labor issues of his employer and the fallen media giant which led to his consequential exit that exposed the true colors of Vasra’s broadcast and internal company culture.

During the budget hearing for the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) in the House of Representatives last September 10 (the same day the National Telecommunications Commission revoked the frequencies of ABS-CBN after an absence of a valid franchise), Secretary Martin Andanar wanted to compete with commercial broadcasters. Why now? Whatever happened to the fully-fledged public broadcaster promised in President Duterte’s maiden SONA four years ago?

Last December 5, PCOO inaugurated the Mindanao Media Hub in the President’s bailiwick in Davao City.

By this time, they are planning to air a noontime show with a working title, Good Laughternoon. The hosts are mostly from participants of Miss World Philippines and comedians who were formerly employed by Allan K’s two closed comedy bars (Klownz and Zirkoh).

CNN Philippines

This channel is barely changing operations-wise, other than the focus on the pandemic coverage and the entry of Rico Hizon. Twice the channel went off the air because of the presence of COVID-positive employees in their HQ in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong and thus, they have to be disinfected.

During the U.S. presidential debates season, they are very interrupted due to daily issues here at home like the Speakership show and red-tagging personalities.

At the moment, no room for improvements has been recommended or formulated — even though they have slight drift (i.e. cartoons from Cartoon Network) from living up to its name for pure news and public affairs.

NET 25

Another prominent TV network that gained attention this year is this UHF TV network near Templo Central in Commonwealth.

During the dual period, they aired a talent show (Tagisan ng Galing) and a noontime show (Happy Time), starring Anjo Yllana, Janno Gibbs and Kitkat. Robin Padilla has two projects from this channel — Unlad: Kaagapay sa Hanapbuhay (an informative program) and Kesayasaya (a musical sitcom).

Two instances are arising from the fallout of Mother Ignacia: the entry of Vic De Leon Lima in their flagship newscast Mata ng Agila; and few versatile talents starring on their first teleserye Ang Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw.

Two prominent beauties came to this network: Emma Mary Tiglao joined the early evening newscast while PBA courtside reporter Apple David became one of the presenters of the breakfast show Pambansang Almusal.

Net25 has promising program offerings this year — even the contemptuous due to obvious religious alignment — but not everyone can reach this network. Despite being the pioneer network in our country’s digital terrestrial TV, they are barely accessible on the free and digital airwaves.

You have to rely on cable (depending on where you live) and on social media with a dependable internet connection.


For 2020, Solar Entertainment is eating their humble pies after losing the carriage disputes of NBA and the ambitious Easy TV offerings since last year. This year, ETC continued such feasting. This channel’s offering was intentionally targeted for feminine and young adult demographics; this year, it into a significant channel drift by adding an old Filipino classic film block called ETCinema and a Tagalog-dubbed Turkishnovela (Endless Love) in their ETCerye.


If a wanderer is portrayed as a digital TV channel, then Broadcast Enterprises and Affiliated Media (BEAM) fit the bill.

These past few years, their channel serves as a digital TV playground where they have no defined purpose than GMA or NET 25 — call it an experimental laboratory, if you will.

This year, two events transpired for that company. On July 30, their broadcast franchise was renewed for another 25 years after affixing President Duterte’s signature. Three months later, the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 tournament gets a dedicated subchannel from this network.

That Being Said…

The year 2020 will forever be an exceptional year and a turning point. EXCEPTIONAL, where the way of life is significantly different than before and a TURNING POINT, where one major player’s fall has made a domino effect on our media consumption.

Few things will be sure arising from the lessons of this sagacious year:

  • There will be an overall setback in terms of broadcasting innovation.
  • The analog switchover (initially scheduled for end-2023) will certainly push anew to an indefinite date.
  • This will signal a sudden acceleration of younger demographics (from the younger half of millennials onwards) abandoning free TV and move on to online streaming (e.g. Netflix, iWantTFC or Kumu) — after attending online classes or working from home.

To paraphrase a quote from Spanish filmmaker Antonio Banderas, people are not that patient anymore.

So what will 2021 bring us? We don’t know but we have crossed the bridge of no return.


I thank the 200+ Facebook users who like our Page, which total to 505 likes.

I thank the following people that defined 2020 for me: Miguele Torres, Rey Refran, Jayson Bustamante and Zyle Samuel A. Hernandez. I also want to thank Trendrod Box for being a complement to this one-man band of a project.

In Twitterlandia, Prof. Danilo Arao, Peter Cayton and JP Tanyag.

Have a healthy New Year. We shall reclaim!

This 2021, continue to like Timow’s Turf on Facebook

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State of the Philippine Television Address 2020

[Requested by Zyle]

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post is intended for the effects of the events in this year to date.]


This new decade is supposed to mark the optimism of waves of the future but instead, we enter waves of the pandemic.

Noong nagsimula ang taon at ang dekada nito, ang outlook natin ay naka-focus sa uncertainty sa pagkawala ng isang malaking media conglomerate nang dahil sa marupok na ego ng isang makapangyarihang tao.

Well, nangyari na or in one police report turned into a meme, “WALA NA, FINISH NA.”

Yumanig na at nagbago ang landscape ng pambansang telebisyon.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now in the post-Mother Ignacia era. Kung may “new normal” dahil sa pandemya, ganun din sa nasabing industriya.

Pagkatapos ng ilang dekada ng digmaan ng mga numero sa South Triangle, natigil na ang putukan, este, ang pag-crunch ng data sa Kantar and Nielsen. Sa entertainment section ng mga pahayagan at online websites ay nakapahinga din sa wakas.

The era of a three-legged stool analogy — showing their strong suits in their particular genre — is now archaic.


The Obstructionist Institutions to Innovation

The National Telecommunications Commission, who ordered the shutdown of ABS-CBN under the undue influence from Solicitor General Jose Calida, has yet to learn the lessons not just from the flaws of what the Lopezes did but from the Tiengs’ 11 months prior regarding the exclusivity of their own channels. Hanggang ngayon, hindi pala gumawa ng IRR o final stance tungkol sa conditional access systems (CAS).

Little did they know, the one-two punch decision creates a dilemma of whether their target date of the analog switch-off in 2023 will proceed as planned or will it be pushed back. Pero, wag kalimutan na we are the last countries in Southeast Asia to do so.

For some, you would say: “Anong punto nito kung meron namang Netflix, iflix, iWant, etc?”

While many will call you for being a “privileged” person, I cannot blame you for getting the point.

That being said, I believe that from those 12 prolonged, premeditated hearings a nd their unsurprised “cooking show” outcome plus a post-vote plan of action by the “Gang of Four” to continue their humiliation by property takeover in a Zoom meeting that was caught on the record has realized that the 18th Congress is an impediment for broadcasting innovation.

Their collective analog mindset — and the deliberate singling out — has proven to us na hindi talaga tayo handa for dissemination about digital terrestrial television. Sa palagay natin, hindi ito dadalhin ang mga isyu na nito sa mga budget interpellations against the Department of Information and Communications Technology for 2021.


Hesitant VHF Survivors

Hindi madali ang sumusunod sa yapak ng Dos. Habang natuto tayo sa kanilang pinakamahusay na kasanayan, wag sanang kalimutan ang leksyon mula sa kanilang mga pagkakamali.

It’s not easy to step into Channel 2’s shoes; while we learn from the best practices, we should also learn the errors of their ways.

Marami ang pagkukulang sa mga dating kalaban pero matigas pa rin ang ulo, even if we remove the major factor of this pandemic.

Sa dating karibal sa Kamuning, sila na ang may korona at advertising money bilang dominant media conglomerate pero hanggang ngayon, ang diskarte ng pananalapi at operasyon nila ay konserbatibo. In other words, they’re just complacent or playing safe until they wait for Mother Ignacia to fall to its knees.

When teleserye filming resumes with safety measures, who would benefit under the current state of the industry? Hindi po ba sila.

Noong Hunyo 26, pormal nang nag-launch ang kanilang Affordabox habang itinigil na ang pagbenta ng TV Plus na nakapagbenta ng 9 million units sa limang taon. Ang expectation ng GMA New Media nila ay 600,000 units ang ibebenta — pero dahil sa positibong reviews at dahil sa bagong features, baka sa katapusan ng taon o dalawa, aabot ng 6 million — putting a zero right after the initial figure.

It would have been better if they had launched when they got their franchise renewed three years ago. Moreso, they should have gone up the ante by establishing a full-time sports division — separate but equal status as to their respected News and Public Affairs. Yun nga lang, hindi pwede maging full-time si Chino Trinidad kasi kailangan din siyang mag-operate at mag-manage sa Pilipinas HD. If I were Kenneth Duremdes, the commissioner of MPBL, I would rule out this network as the new home for the league.

They may have been turned 70 this year (59 if on TV) but still the working axiom remains: “Once they played safe, they’ll always play safe.”

On the other hand, to the rescue si Manny V. Pangilinan para sa mga displaced talents to TV5. Let’s face it, his network is a member of KBP just like Dos was.

It sounds promising, had not for the perennial internal organizational drawbacks. Unlike GMA and its sturdy yet so stubborn pillars, the turnover in their organization chart happens more often.

Their local entertainment division, effectively dissolved in 2016, will be restored pero as one die-hard fan of Channel 5 would advise that they should hire technical crew first (e.g. electronic communications engineers, 1st class radio telephone operators) before writers.

Noong Enero, they had the honor of covering the 24th Asian Television Awards for the first time in the country as host and when he got the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television, napuno ng puntirya sa comments section ng Facebook na wala namang kinalaman sa TV o kaya’y walang ginawa ng tama sa Singko.

Now that the chapter is sealed, the mindset sa pagiging non-revenue driver ang Channel 5 must come to an end, whether he likes it or not. Kamakailan lang po, sila na ang official broadcaster ng NBA at ONE Championship.

Yun nga lang, expect grumbling of certain factions of the existing solid Kapatid: those who wanted AniMEGA to return, those who wanted the PBA to resume, those who are tuning to Idol Raffy Tulfo and two fans who want The Amazing Race Philippines to have a third season.

I believe they will do better and learn from that after that scrounging criticisms. Boss MVP, the whole Philippine TV community is now rooting for you.

Last but not the least, aminado ni Krizette Laureta Chu (isa sa mga constructive supporters ng administrasyon) na mahusay ang mga writers ng Dos na pwedeng maisalba ang PTV mula sa pagiging propaganda machine ng Palasyo for almost half a century. Ito ang dapat na ginawa noong unang SONA niya para maging editorially independent at impartial. Pagkatapos ng apat na taon sa Kwatro, na-improve po ba ang overall image ng PTV o the same pa rin?

No wonder, Mr. Jules Guiang snapped out and expose the double standards on the government channel he was working on. He unravelled the truth on the broken system-cum-real company culture in Vasra that ran nearly half a century. Mr. Guiang, your honesty and bravery has inspired us.

If PTV deserved this kind of audacity, then don’t get me started on IBC 13.


Educational TV

Ang kasalukuyang pandemya’y apektado ang edukasyon. With the school year starting in our country by the near end of this month, blended learning will be the mode of public instruction, according to the Department of Education, so that no learners are left behind. However, the survey says otherwise: modular learning.

We all know the Knowledge Channel was two decades ahead of its time and they are compliant with the prescribed curriculum. However, some of you have sown to disdain for connecting the dots despite that you have watched them (hypocritically) at least once during your childhood days. Few of you were taught to despise because of your implanted brand hatred since birth.

Well, then, last June, I published about the prospects of IBC 13 into a full-time educational channel — from what PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar initially proposed — if the promised privatization of that channel fails to speed up.

The pace of my post was set for a year but we are rushing in a couple of weeks until classes begin. We are not certain if their endeavor will be successful considering the failing infrastructure and financial standing of the tail-end of the VHF spectrum.

Noong Hunyo, pagkatapos ng 28 taon, nagpaalam na ang El Shaddai sa Trese — it was really a religious programming institution.

While The Manila Times loves to jab at ABS even after the media conglomerate’s “death,” they left out the “real opposite” that is currently running at low-power and neglected, which most of us barely even notice. Since two weeks ago, Hataw Tabloid published an ongoing series by Ms. Rose Novenario calling the management in Capitol Hills (no longer in Old Balara) as “Mega web of corruption” and she is very doubtful if this opportunity will materialize and prosper.

But I digress, the people who benefit from this are those who have that channel on Cignal or your provincial cable. If you have a digital TV box, needless to say, you might not get IBC but instead, you’ll get Solar Learning, which is on the test broadcast.


Eyes on 2021 and Beyond

The frequencies of VHF Channel 2 and UHF 23 in the Metro might be ready for auction to “worthy applicants.”

Sabi ng isang business report ng the Philippine Daily Inquirer, mga 6 hanggang 12 buwan ang kailangan bago maghanap ng bagong may-ari ng frequency.

Dalawang buwan bago natigil ang ere ng Dos at Bente-Tres, nailantad ang expose mula sa isang AM radio commentator (hindi po galing DZMM) na “done deal” ang kapalaran sa Mother Ignacia at ibibigay kung sino sa mga matalik na kaibigan ng nakaupo sa Malacanang.

Kung ibibigay yan, lalo lang iikli ang waiting time like negotiating with a fixer. If that is true, then, well, so much for their “law is law” mantra.

When it’s done, will they have the same audience impact as the former tenant has performed for almost 34 years? The answer is “We do not know. We will all see.” Less than two years may be considered a short time but such amount of time is a pretty big deal to watch out for.

If ABS-CBN finally gets a franchise under the next presidential administration (at least, H2 2022), Mother Ignacia might have to wait until the new holder of the franchise of Channel 2 expires or fold up after suffering losses or voluntarily cede the frequency to its pre-2020 state. That’s a three-way road they will encounter. Picking up the pieces is another story.

As former ANC boss, Jing Magsaysay, best puts out: Content creation is a whole different ball game.

As of this moment, the remaining drama units of Dos are now pitching their products to the former rivals — financially-healthy man o “walking dead.” Whatever the fate might be, best of luck and tuloy po ang pagbabantay.

I am through, thank you. Have a good day.


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Turning IBC-13 Into an Educational TV Channel: Is It Worth It?

[AUTHOR’S WARNING: The following post may hurt the sentiments of the TV network in concern, along with its employees and its loyal viewers. Please, read at your own risk.]


IBC 13’s new headquarters and studios since 2019

PUBLIC INSTRUCTION should have started this week but for this year, it is deferred until August 24.

Until that day, teachers across the nation are currently required to report and to attend necessary seminars on different modes of distance learning when traditional face-to-face instruction is not practical due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two weeks ago, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar suggested before the House Committees on Basic Education and Culture and on Higher and Technical Education during a virtual hearing that television will serve as another venue of distance learning if the internet signal is weak and/or unreliable.

Hold it! Didn’t we have Knowledge Channel for that?

Yep, but they’re neither on free-to-air at the start nor they are owned by the government. As we all know, the owner of that channel (ABS-CBN) is one of the adversaries of the incumbent Duterte administration. (Stop being in denial and admit it.)

Basically, Andanar intended to emulate that of NHK E-TV of Japan or EBS of South Korea.

To which we beg to Mr. Secretary: Why did you think about it NOW after almost four years?

An educational TV channel in the free-to-air transmission is not a new concept now; hence, we are totally a late adopter.

He mentioned that IBC 13 — the financial and operational antithesis of ABS-CBN — would be used among the two state-owned channels since it is “underutilized.” (Indeed, and a lot of adjectives that we don’t need to further elaborate.)

What if he was a man for this word now that he has two years left?

A very straight-to-the-point question that unravels a more complicated answer.


The Hypothetical Timetable

The ongoing pandemic would be cleared out when a reasonable treatment or a vaccine is available to the public and that would last at least a year. Thus, we have a year left for Martin to fix this mess.

Meanwhile, potential production companies — since the network themselves couldn’t afford to produce more of their own programs due to running losses — have to be oriented on the new policies and to imbibe on the curriculum guides approved by the Department of Education (DepEd).


The Programming Operations

Annual Operation

The operation calendar will be split into two: during the basic education’s school year and outside.

During the School Year (June to March)

The weekday daytime could be dedicated for every core subject from kindergarten to senior high school. Weeknights could be dedicated to specialized subjects for senior high school and adult education programs.

The weekend could be the best time for cultural shows, vocational-technical shows and documentaries. Reinstating Ating Alamin or transfer Mag-Agri Tayo from PTV could take place here.

Outside the School Year (April to May)

During the months where no classes are held, lifelong learning subjects would take place. Foreign educational shows that are on PTV right now would be transferred there.


Daily Operation

The channel would sign on from 6:00 a.m. and sign off at midnight every day, except Holy Week.

In terms of the time slot in the program grid, the show must run at least 30 minutes and continuous (i.e. no splitting into two segments).


Obstructions and Objections

Programming Obstructions

If this “Educational Television Service” (ETS) happened, almost all of current and future programming (now on hold) on the current IBC 13 must end.

In other words, say goodbye to their institutional yet ad nauseam EZ Shop home shopping block and ba-bye for El Shaddai.

SIDE NOTE: Since DBS has not migrated their programs to their Channel 35 and the weekly family appointment in Amvel is not allowed due to community quarantine rules. Bro. Mike Velarde should have learned from Bro. Bo Sanchez by adapting to social media.

SMAC Television Production’s promo of entertainment programs slated this year but are currently on hold (including Yes! Yes! Yow!) would have no choice but to transfer such shows to another channel or to scrap entirely without seeing their own light of day before undergoing to this proposed paradigm shift.

While ASK TV will be moved because it’s a variety show, the PMPC Star Award show Talents Academy might be the only program to carry over to the new venture due to informative content. If the coast is clear, Cooltura would resume and be another carryover show.

For those Batang 90s or to those born after (“by heart”) who want to push for new tokusatsu shows and new animes on that channel: Well, you can just forget about that when this comes around.


Technical Obstructions

In that comprehensive Manila Bulletin story, Sec. Andanar mentioned the “analog transmission” of both state-owned TV networks are below the normal transmitting power to satisfy the reach of the Metro Manila market. According to him, the satisfactory range in that area is from 60 to 100 kilowatts; for IBC, it registered less than 20 kilowatts. Attributed to the outdated tower, upgrading it by one kilowatt would cost at most a million pesos.

Digital TV experts are raising their eyebrows for “not leading by example” as the clock is ticking forward to 2023. Although, there was a silver lining that IBC has done digital TV testing (at least, sporadically) than PTV despite the low video resolution.

The funding to close that gap and to leap forward with better technology will be discussed in a bit.


For Propaganda?

This potential venture raised an alarm for some people that using the channel would be a tool to pursue favorable views of the incumbent president’s agenda akin to the “Wow China” radio program on the radio counterpart, RP1 (738 kHz).

To prevent the situation from happening again, the proposed ETS charter should include an explicit provision of independence from government interference despite maintaining their ownership.


Funding and Revenue Generation

The most important question that everyone should care about: Where will the funds come from?

All of us would easily think that it will come from a portion of the budgets of DepEd, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Often, the aggregate amounts may still be insufficient to cover operating expenses.

Government-owned-and-controlled corporations usually do not allow excessive donations to be received as it might be a source of “bribery” and “corruption.”

This means they need to pass the charter from Congress with explicit provisions to allow room for revenue generation from donations and grants from relatable private foundations, sales from textbooks and learning materials related to the programs, and ads from educational suppliers.


Continuing Operations Post-2022

Once this administration ends on the noon of June 30, 2022, this is the question most of you are thinking: “Would this endeavor continue to operate?”

It’s hard to answer but for sure, it will probably continue to the end of that school year (i.e. March 2023). What comes next might depend on the hands of Andanar’s successor.


Final Answer: Is it Worth It?

That all being said, turning a vegetative TV network into an educational channel will make a profound impact — even though we are decades late for the party.

When this endeavor of a shakeup materializes, the privatization process of the current network, which is currently running in circles for a long time, would finally grind into a halt. It would yield the final verdict that it will never happen, which could make the persistent calls of retirees and employees for payment long-overdue back wages end up in futility.

Last but certainly not least, the worthiness of being a national TV network will be tested.

The answer to one summative question: “Is this venture really risking for?” is now all up to you.


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Photo courtesy of IBC 13 / Radyo Todo

The Weekend Roundup (September 14-15)

TODAY is first Friday the 13th of the year and this is the 299th post of Timow’s Turf — just one short of the monumental 300.

To be honest, I had no idea what to write for a specific topic with this only free slot for the month.

As today is payday, there are three ways you could spend your hard-earned dough:

  • Go to your favorite mall that is on the 3-day sale;
  • Go to their cinemas and watch your favorite film as it is the opening day of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, or
  • Go to SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia for the ongoing 40th Manila International Book Fair.

But what if you rather just stay home and save from the hassles outdoors?

Well, there are five notes happening on Philippine television — purely on the Duopoly — this weekend.


Out Goes ‘Love You Too,’ In Comes ‘The Gift’

Tonight will conclude “Love You Two” on GMA Telebabad, which will count into 104 episodes. The romantic comedy teleserye starred Jennylyn Mercado and Gabby Concepcion.

The Gift” (not to be confused with the similarly titled iWant original movie) will succeed in that time slot, starring Alden Richards (from Victor Magtanggol), Jean Garcia (from Ika-5 Utos) and Jo Berry (from Little Nanay).


Coke Studio Philippines 3

After several postponements that prolongs the agony of OPM lovers, the said music program returns to ABS-CBN for the third season.

For this run, 15 OPM acts were featured, ready for collaboration.

The postponement until tomorrow was deliberately intentional so that it will end before NBA’s new season in October.

Unlike the previous season which premiered before ASAP, this season’s timeslot is on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

Why on a different timeslot? Two things:

  • KB Family Weekend films are arbitrary.
  • It cannot happen in the afternoon where their public affair shows are too popular. In addition, no loyal viewer would start the show at an arbitrary time.


The ABS-CBN Ball

ABS-CBN Ball.jpg

Also happening tomorrow is Mother Ignacia’s Met Gala.

Formerly called the Star Magic Ball, it was renamed last year in order to include Kapamilya talents who are not exclusive to Star Magic. That edition has led Regine Velasquez to return to the network.

This year, the Ball will be hosted in Shangri-La — not in Makati this time, but in the Fort — and the dress code is Modern Filipiniana, to coincide the network’s 65th corporate anniversary.

About 500 stars are expected to attend the event — can be both inside or outside of the network — but let’s not be surprised if a politician or a beauty queen will be on the red carpet. This means Alden Richards could go to the Ball and meet the “Hello, Love, Goodbye” partner Kathryn Bernardo, albeit that she still has Daniel Padilla to accompany to the red carpet.

The ball’s proceeds will go to Bantay Edukasyon of Bantay Bata 163 (one of the late Gina Lopez’s initiatives).

For sure, ANC, The Metro Channel and KBO will have a blow-by-blow red carpet coverage but not the party proper itself.

Envious ill-wishers from the other side of the fence who have not hosted their counterpart since 2011 would just complement, “Enjoy while it lasts.” (The motivating rationale does not need explanation.)


Starstruck 7’s Final Judgment

At the earliest, this weekend will conclude GMA’s iconic artista search. For sure, it’s going to be live to give suspense in determining who will be the Male and the Female Survivor.

On the last weekend, the Final Four were announced:

  • Allen Ansay (16; Camarines Sur)
  • Kim de Leon (19; Batangas City)
  • Lexi Gonzales (19; Sampaloc, Manila)
  • Shayne Sava (17; Binangonan, Rizal)

The winning survivors will be given a management contract. Need not to worry, the second placers and the avengers could someday be part of the GMA Artist Center but they have a slimmer chance to be part of any teleserye project.


G Diaries Renews for Another Season

Beginning this Sunday morning, travel and lifestyle show G Diaries will return for its fourth season on ABS-CBN.

Following the demise of Gina Lopez last month, her brother Ernie (who serves as the chief of the publishing arm) will take her place.


That is pretty much is what happens for this weekend. What about on other media platforms?


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Photo courtesy of Rappler

In Memoriam: Gina Lopez (1953-2019)

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: I had a clouded preoccupation for the past two weeks and indecision on what to do with this free slot.]


Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez, 65

YESTERDAY morning, a lot of readers were shocked on the demise of former Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Gina Lopez to brain cancer at 65.

The level of grief is high but few, like yours truly, have been low when her confidant, Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ, announced the diagnosis via Twitter last June before he deleted it.

Gina was part of the Lopez family that owns and operates ABS-CBN. When she came back to the country, she became the Managing Director of the ABS-CBN foundation.

During her stint, the initial programs she initiated in 1997 include Bantay Bata 163, a hotline against child abuse, and Bantay Kalikasan.

She was the brainchild of educational programming that Batang 90s and millennials reminisced. Their output still relays over Knowledge Channel.

During the turn of the century, she initiated the rehabilitation of Pasig River through “Kapit Bisig sa Ilog Pasig.” Because of her efforts, then-President Benigno Aquino III appointed her as chairperson of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.

But it didn’t stop there, I remember hearing her last August 2011 at my university on the “No to Mining in Palawan” caravan where we signed the petition.

Such ferociousness and conviction eventually promoted in the ranks of the initial Cabinet lineup of President Rodrigo Duterte as DENR secretary. During her tenure in the Executive Department, she audited all the mining sites in the entire country and rescinded environment certificates on some of the firms that violate the environment and the law.

Her stint ended less than a year when the Commission on Appointments rejected her last May 3, 2017. She ended with a high note in the public limelight to R. Kelly’s song “I Believe I Can Fly.”

Returning back to private life, she became the presenter of G Diaries, which is currently airing on the family-owned-and-operated main channel every Sunday morning. The travel and lifestyle show has just renewed for the fourth season and still pending Gina’s replacement.

Public viewing will take place for two days starting this Thursday at the La Mesa Eco Park — one of her initiatives took place there — from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. In place of flowers and Mass cards, the Lopez family would request for donations to the ABS-CBN Foundation to continue flourishing her philanthropic initiatives.

UPDATE (August 23, 08:26): Public viewing was moved from La Mesa Eco Park to ABS-CBN Studio 10 due to inclement weather; the visting hours is extended to midnight. Nonetheless, this is the last day for mourners to pay tribute.


Vale et Deo Optimo Maximo, Gina; you did believe that you can fly.


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This is the 296th post. We are nearly reaching 300 posts, stay tuned on September 21.

Timow’s QuOP Blg. 9: Ang Kalagayan ng Pambansang Wika sa Larangan ng Media

[TALA NG MAY-AKDA: Ito ang unang pagkakataon sa loob ng limang taon na magsusulat ako sa aming wika.]

KASALUKUYANG ginugunita ang Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa na may temang: “Wikang Katutubo: Tungo sa Isang Bansang Filipino.” Itong tema ay base sa deklarasyon ng UNESCO na ang taong ito ay initinalaga na “Pandaigdigang Taon ng mga Katutubong Wika.”

Subalit sa mga taga-lalawigan, malinggal ng pagsalangsang ang karaniwang inaasahan at dapat tawagin ito na “Buwan ng MGA Wikang Pambansa” dahil ang bansang ito ay may maraming wikang ginagamit maliban sa Tagalog — na basehan ng Pambansang Wika — at Ingles.

Sa totoo lang, mahirap magbasa, magsulat at magsalita sa wikang puro hindi tulad ng dati. Kaya, pinilit na gumamit ng mga salitang hiram mula sa wikang banyaga upang mabawasan ang mga pantig sa pagpapahayag at/o dahil hindi makahanap ng tamang katawagan para maiintidihan lalo ng madla.

Pero may hangganan: hindi po kasama ang kultura ng lingo, balbal o kaswal na katulad ni Isko Moreno, ang nakaupong puno ng lungsod Maynila, na babaligtarin ang titik o pantig pero pareho naman ang balak at kahulugan nito maliban lang kung ang programa’y kakatawanan.

Kapag mangyayari ito, mawawala ito sa pagiging propesyonal.

Marami sa inyo, mga mahal na mambabasa, ay tinuturo na walang muwang sa pagkukulang ng media.

Huwag kang nagkakamali; noong nakaraang taon, inihatid ang balita sa ganitong balita sa NewsNight (CNN Philippines) sa buong buwan na iyon pero hindi na ginawa ngayon.

Pero ang tinutukoy ng iba ay ang pagmamayari ng estado (hal. RP1 738 kHz).

Sa totoo lang, nakaukit ang kalakaran nila ang magpalaganap sa patakaran ng kasalukuyang nakaupo at ibalita lang sa pinakapositibong at nagtatanggol na pananaw. Halos wala para sa layuning pang-edukasyon.

Hindi ba’t ang pagkabigo sa isa sa santatlong layunin ng pagsasahimpapawid? O sadyang naghari ang social media para sa ganitong layunin.

Bago tapusin ang maliit na nilalaman, naiintidihan mo ba ang sinusulat ko?

Kung kapani-paniwalang “oo,” mahusay!

Kung ayos lang, at sumainyo rin.

Kung hindi, hindi ka nag-iisa.


Maraming salamat sa pag-unawa at isang mapagpalang araw sa inyo.

Ang QuOP na ito ay puwedeng gamiting puwang para sa iyong mga panukala. Ang mga panukala ay maaring nauugnay dito o hindi; pwedeng mag-post ng iyong artikulo para sa aming pagsisiyasat.


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